Well-being, roles and satisfaction of health workers

This research initiative is focused on the development of strategies to support facility- and community-based health workers who endeavor to provide quality care in very low-resource settings. This is part of the global effort to strengthen health systems in low- and middle-income countries and to provide patient-centered care while respecting the motivation and abilities of the health workers themselves.

  Project Details

Health workers are a critical component of well-functioning health systems. However, low- and middle-income countries are experiencing severe health worker shortages, often in concert with high burdens of disease. Community-based health workers have been promoted as one solution to scale-up delivery of health services in low-resource settings, but strategies to support their unique roles and integrate them into the health system are lacking.

We characterize ongoing strategies and test evidence-based ones to support facility- and community-based health workers’ motivation, workplace factors important to job satisfaction, and thoughts of leaving in the context of performance in the health system. Of course, health workers’ own well-being is important in its own right, so we also investigate the impacts of the health care professions on health workers’ well-being and identity. We conduct this work in Guatemala, Mozambique, Canada and the United States.

  Research Team


This research project is currently open to funding opportunities. For more information, please reach out to the project contact listed above.


Boateng GO, Schuster RC, Odei-Boateng M. 2019. Uncovering a health and well-being gap among professional nurses: situated experiences of direct care nurses in two Canadian cities. Social Science & Medicine, 242: 112568. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.112568

Chesoli RN, Schuster RC, Okello S, Omotayo MO. 2018. Strengthening implementation of routine
immunization programs in primary healthcare facilities: perspectives of managers on influence of human resource factors. International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 17(12): 1130–1137. doi: 10.15171/ijhpm.2018.83

Schuster RC, de Sousa OL, Reme AK*, Vopelak CM*, Pelletier DL, Johnson LM, Mbuya MN, Pinault D, Young SL. 2018. Performance-based incentives empower health workers delivering prevention of vertical transmission of HIV services and decrease desire to leave in rural Mozambique. International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 7(7):574-580.

JS Luque, JN Maupin, DG Ferris, WSG Condorhuaman. 2017. Reaching women in the Peruvian Andes through cervical cancer screening campaigns: Assessing attitudes of stakeholders and patients. Patient Preference and Adherence, 10: 2107–2116.

Schuster RC, de Sousa OL, Rivera J*, Olson R*, Pinault D, Young SL. 2016. Performance-based
incentives may be appropriate to address challenges to delivery of prevention of vertical
transmission of HIV services in rural Mozambique: a qualitative investigation. BMC Human
Resources for Health, 14:60.

Schuster RC, McMahon DE*, Young SL. 2016. A comprehensive review of the barriers and
promoters health workers experience in delivering prevention of vertical transmission of HIV
services in sub-Saharan Africa. AIDS Care, 28(6):778-794.

Maupin JN. 2015. Variation in Causal Models of Diabetes: A Comparison of Nurses and Lay Community Members in the United States and Guatemala. Ethos. 43 (4):353-375

Maupin, JN. 2015. Perceptions of Disruption: Media Representations and Medical Staff’s Perceptions of Undocumented Immigrants’ Impact on Healthcare Services in post-SB 1070 Arizona. In Migrations as Disruptions: Towards a Unified Theory of Ancient and Contemporary Migrations. Tsuda, Takeyuki and BrendaBaker, eds. University Press of Florida

Maupin JN. 2011. Divergent Models of Community Health Workers in Highland Guatemala. Human Organization, 70(1):44-53.

Maupin, JN. 2009 ‘Fruit of the Accords’: Neoliberal Health Reform and Civil Participation in Highland Guatemala. Social Science and Medicine, 68(8): 1456-1463

Maupin, JN. 2008 Remaking the Guatemalan Midwife: Health Care Reform and Midwifery Training Programs in Highland Guatemala. Medical Anthropology: Cross-Cultural Studies in Health and Illness, 27(4): 353-382.